Reply To: USRPT for Age groupers – 10 to 13 yo

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m3swimmm, I’ve thought about this one a little before replying, because I’ve used the Parametic System (USRPT) what ever you call it with both Age-Groupers 11-14 and with Senior swimmers. Currently I coach Senior athletes primarily, but also coach a group of 8-12 year olds as well.

First of all when I had the 11-14 group I was strict to the system and had some great success, not only because of the system, but because the kids we’re really focused. I had a 14 year old go from State Qualifier to Senior National Qualifier within about 2 months after being on the system for about a year, once again she was really focused.

The 8-12 year olds I coach now learn the concepts of Posture, Line and Balance for a half hour, they get about 1000 yards of pure aerobic work in one set usually and they also get about 6 x 25’s of sprinting, we don’t talk about the system, I just want them to learn to be efficient and gain a little stamina in an hour practice.

Currently the main coach who leads our 11-14 year olds follows a very strict “Posture, Line and Balance” skill program and he also backs it up with a big aerobic component, usually once or twice a week he run’s 30 x 50’s on :50 or 1:00 depending on the skill of the athletes. He also has some components of workouts where he will do 4-5 x 50’s at 2:00 full sprint, but he doesn’t even give out times on those as much as he talks to them about effort and efficiency. This group practices for an hour and a half.

We’ve talked about this and I agree that if he runs a strict system with them, what new stress are they going to get when they move to my Senior group? It’s much like I don’t do a lot of kicking with my senior kids, but my senior development coach does a ton, it’s kind of nice because they come to me with a great kick.

It’s high school season here, so I don’t have many seniors right now, but we typically do about 800-1500 yards of race pace during a practice and we do about 1800 yards of aerobic swimming as well as spend a lot of time working on skills such as underwater’s, sculling, drills, turns, etc. There truly is an art to coaching swimmers not just a science although I tend to stay on the science side, sometimes you have to take a step back and really see what your athletes need, it’s not what we do TO our athletes that makes them perform better, it’s what we do WITH our athletes that makes them perform better!

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